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Buildings with Good IAQ
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Buildings with Good IAQ

April 28, 2011


Buildings are expected to fulfill a variety of requirements related to their function, applicable codes and standards, and environmental and community impacts. Among these requirements, indoor air quality (IAQ) is typically addressed through compliance with only minimum code requirements, which are based on industry consensus standards such as ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62.1, Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality (ASHRAE 2007a). Yet IAQ affects occupant health, comfort, and productivity, and in some cases even building usability, all of which can have significant economic impacts for building owners and occupants.

Indoor air quality (IAQ) is one of many issues that building owners and developers must address to provide buildings that meet their needs and the needs of the building occupants.

Importance of IAQ

First, better IAQ leads to more productive and happier occupants. In commercial real estate, satisfied
occupants are tied directly to return on investment and bottom-line economics, while in schools and institutional buildings they are tied to learning outcomes and organizational missions. While it is hard to put firm numbers on these benefits, there is increasing evidence of measurable productivity increases and reduced absentee rates in spaces with better IAQ.

Second, IAQ problems that get out of hand can be quite costly in terms of lost work time, lost use of buildings, expensive building or mechanical system repairs, legal costs, and bad publicity. While extreme IAQ problems are rare, they do occur, and the consequences can be dramatic. Less severe problems are more common and can erode occupant productivity, affect occupancy and/or rent levels, and lead to costs for smaller legal disputes or repairs.

What is Good IAQ?

Good IAQ is achieved by providing air in occupied spaces in which there are no known or expected contaminants at concentrations likely to be harmful and no conditions that are likely to be associated with occupant health or comfort complaints and air with which virtually no occupants express dissatisfaction. It includes consideration of both indoor air pollution levels and thermal environmental parameters.

Adequate Ventilation Rates

While building codes and standards have addressed outdoor air ventilation for decades, many buildings and spaces are poorly ventilated, which increases the likelihood of IAQ problems. There are a variety of reasons for inadequate ventilation rates, including lack of compliance with applicable codes and standards, installation or maintenance problems that lead to the design ventilation rate not being achieved in practice, or space use changes without an assessment of the need for updated ventilation rates. Also, system-level outdoor air intake rates may be adequate, but air distribution problems can lead to certain areas in the building being poorly ventilated. While ASHRAE Standard 62.1 covers the determination of design ventilation rates.

Buildings with good IAQ

The type of buildings which are constructed by incorporating tripod of attributes; energy efficiency (both in material selection and actual energy use), healthy living including indoor air quality, and careful resource management are termed as Green Buildings. Green building does not require any architectural style which looks visually green.

Green buildings are designed to meet certain objectives such as protecting occupant health; improving employee productivity; using energy, water, and other resources more efficiently; and reducing the overall impact to the environment.

Health Air with Energy Savings

DRI range of IAQ products ensure a very high efficiency in eliminating germs, indoor pollutants, VOCs and odour. They also help in significantly reducing energy costs and increasing life of HVAC systems, while ensuring fresh air availability and good indoor air quality both at work and home.

DRI IAQ products and solutions have been successfully installed in many prestigious buildings, hospitals, hotels, shopping malls, green buildings, homes, spas, schoolsConvention Centres, Indoor Auditoriums, Conference Rooms and Industrial Units.

DRI Green Building Products help to maintain Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) requirements and recover energy from exhaust air, resulting in considerable reduction in installed tonnage and utility bills. They also assist in enhancing Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), maintaining desired temperature and humidity and increasing productivity.

They help owners earn substantial Green Building LEED Points for:

  • Energy Saving
  • Improved IEQ
  • Innovative New Technology

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